Jun 25, 2016

Things I have learnt. Painting again and healing from the Mastectomy

As you probably know by now, my life has been turned upside down and inside out in the space of a few weeks. In the months before I found out, I was getting incredibly bad anxiety attacks, this came out of nowhere and they were all health related things I was panicking about. I felt like something bad was going to happen and I couldn't explain why, I just had this feeling of dread and fear in me every day, which made me feel like I was losing my mind. I started stressing over tiny things and was just generally in a really bad place. I stopped painting, I stopped reading and stopped doing pretty much all the things I love doing because I was constantly exhausted from all the anxiety and 'stress'. I have no idea why these panic attacks started, but looking back I think it may have been my body subconsciously telling me, something is wrong.

I worked so hard at feeling better, when I realized that I couldn't carry on like it. I went for a massage one day and instantly relaxed, I changed my diet, cutting out a lot of sugar and stuff that was contributing towards the way I was feeling. I started going to yoga and making a huge effort to enjoy the moment and de-stress and it really worked.

I was so so proud of myself for getting them under control and starting to feel like the real me again, but within weeks of that happening, my Granddad died. My Granddad has been a HUGE part of my life. My sister and I have always been so close to our Grandparents, even though we live in Australia now, we've always written to each other, spoken on the phone, skyped and still remained close. My Granddad was 87 when he died unexpectedly, after a routine and simple operation. Every single person in our family was shocked and devastated. The day of his funeral was the day I found out my results from my second biopsy confirming I did indeed have cancer.

A shitty fucking day to say the least. For a while there it just felt like everything was spiralling out of control.

So enough was enough.

Since the day I found out, I took it as a huge wake up call. I always go on and on about 'living your dreams', about doing what makes you happy but I had stopped doing all those things. I hadn't picked up a paintbrush in months, that alone was making me miserable. I wasn't even reading books or writing my blog posts. I felt stressed, so I was constantly attracting more stressful situations. Within my job, within my family and life felt like a bit of a struggle for a while.

That's no way to live though, so I stopped stressing. I know it sounds weird but I really feel like this was lifes way of saying JUST STOP, JUST CALM DOWN.

And I have. Since all this happened I take a lot of time every day to do things I love, things I'm passionate about. I have been overwhelmed by the amount of kindness and love so many people have shown me, these people genuinely care and you don't know how much strength that has given me. I feel like I have all these beautiful people around me and a giant circle of love. This whole situation has made me reassess things and given me this amazing learning experience and brought me closer to so many people.

Oh the things I have learnt....

I have learnt how showing kindness to someone can literally change their lives
I have learnt that there's no point stressing out about the small things
I have learnt that all that matters is people, connections, relationships, experiences and enjoying the moment.
I have learnt that I want to be a better person
I've learnt to calm down and listen to my body
I've learnt that humans are pretty fantastic
I've learnt that the power of love will always win
I've learnt you should spend your life fighting for what you love and doing what makes you happy
I've learnt the power of faith
I've learnt that I'm even luckier than I realized
I've learnt how amazing my friends are
I've learnt the power of positivity

So I have spent the last few days, since the mastectomy, reconnecting with some of my friends, spending time with my family and it's been amazing.

The other thing I'm doing is painting again.
I'm reading two books at the moment.

Meanwhile the kids are keeping a smile on my face, watching them climbing trees, cuddling the kittens and run around the house, means they are happy.

I am still healing from the Mastectomy, it's been 9 days, which has gone so fast. I ad my drain take out on Thursday which was the best feeling ever, it was so uncomfortable having that massive tube sticking out the side of you and carrying it around every time you got up.

I have a lot of nerve pain under my arm and I still can't lift it up very much. I still can't tie my hair up which is driving me mad!! The scar is still covered with a bandage and it still stings quite a bit.
But every day is an improvement and I feel better and better. 

Thank you so much for all the lovely comments and messages I have received.

My sister set me up a go fund me page and the response was incredible. I am so grateful. The money is going towards a new prosthesis and mastectomy bras, it will also help with the 'daily life' costs such as groceries and rent whilst I am having time off work. I used up all my sick pay on hospital appointments and I took my holiday pay to have the operation. I find out on Monday what treatment the hospital are recommending, as well as having meetings with the physiotherapist, who will hopefully be able to help me lift my arm again!

 So far they have told me that they want me to have four rounds of chemo and some radiation. 
The support and money raised so far has given me such a feeling of relief, that I won't have to panic about money for the next few weeks, that there's food on the table and my kids lives aren't being disrupted. The thought of chemo scares the absolute crap out of me and I have no idea how it will make me feel. It's great to know that if I feel like shit and I'm throwing up I don't have to go into work that day.

I'm not the type of person who is physically capable of resting, I tend to have a million things on my to do list and my brain is always working overtime but being in this situation I really wanted to be able to heal, calm my body and focus everything on recovering.
The go fund me account has given me the chance to do that and for that my family and I will always be so grateful to every one of you who donated or shared the post.

Love Hayley xxxx



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